Charity Commission to manage UK’s Sikh Channel after Inquiry

The Charity Commission has seized control and will manage a Birmingham-based Sikh channel. This follows an inquiry into its financial affairs.

Charity Commission to manage UKs Sikh Channel after Inquiry f

"new trustees and a new chief executive have been appointed"

The Charity Commission will manage a community TV station amid investigations into its financial affairs.

Under the Charities Act powers, the commission has appointed interim managers to oversee the running of the Sikh Channel Community Broadcasting Company Limited, based in Aston, Birmingham.

The move follows the opening of a statutory inquiry into the registered charity.

The commission says they intervened “following continued concerns about its governance and financial management”.

Philip Watts and Sarah Tomlinson, of Birmingham-based Anthony Collins Solicitors, will take over management and administration from trustees.

A commission spokesman said: “Mr Watts and Ms Tomlinson will take on their roles to the exclusion of the trustees.”

The channels, which has millions of viewers, insisted that it had nothing to hide.

One representative said it is a victim of its own success to an extent.

He said the charity has become so large that the commission had to ensure the correct protocol for major organisations was being followed.

The inquiry follows a meeting with trustees in October 2019.

The commission said: “Since the opening of the inquiry, new trustees and a new chief executive have been appointed to the charity, who are looking to make improvements.”

There is no doubt the broadcaster has helped many people by uniting with other Sikh charities.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, volunteers have delivered food to the homeless on a daily basis.

News that the Charity Commission has stepped in will stun views of the TV channel.

Mr Watts and Ms Tomlinson will look at the relationship between the charity and connected companies.

A senior member of the channel’s team said:

“It has grown so much, it has become a worldwide thing. It has 1.6 million Facebook followers, it is huge.

“In a sense, it outgrew itself and the commission is now putting the necessary protocol in place.”

The community station was launched in 2009 and it was the world’s first free Sikh faith channel. Its presenters are household names in the Sikh community.

Birmingham Mail reported that there are viewers across Europe and it is particularly popular in Canada. The station is broadcast on Sky channel 840 and is also streamed on the internet.

The channel’s Facebook site says:

“In the ethnic television category, there were numerous stations in Europe but none whatsoever dedicated to the Sikh faith.

“Sikh Channel is the first broadcasting channel of its kind in the world broadcasting Sikh religious and cultural shows across the world.

“Sikh Channel has managed to fill a huge void within the world of television, being the first channel to focus upon the essence of the Sikh faith.

“Sikh Channel is a community television station based upon the principles of the Sikh faith but includes programming for all, Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike.

“The central theme and objective of the channel is to unite communities with the assistance of the universal message of the Sikh faith.

“Sikh Channel acts as a conduit for promoting participation and interest in the local community and greater understanding between all faiths with a strong commitment to intra-faith.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”